Chaat House opened several months ago in Bellevue, competing with the many Indian restaurants in the neighborhood; yet it is certainly great that we have another vegetarian establishment.
As the name suggested, Chaat House offers many Chaat, Indian street food, including puri (fried bread), samosa and pav bhaji; they also serve Indian pizza, thali (rice with entrees) and parantha (flat bread).
The most exciting piece of equipment I saw in the store was the fresh sugar cane juicer.
Grew up drinking this on the street in Hong Kong, suffice to say that I had not seen one for a very long time.
I was thrown off when the gentleman asked me what I wanted in my fresh cane juice — turned out it was customary to have cane juice with lime and/or ginger and/or salt in India, whereas, it was just always plain in Hong Kong.
Since I never had all those flavors before, I asked for everything.
The gentleman proceeded to cut pieces of ginger and lime with skin, and passed them through the juicer as well.
Final fresh cane juice with lime, ginger and salt: I could not say I like it.
The flavor reaction made the cane juice tasted distinctively sulfurous and reminded me of egg, which was very foreign to me.
The cane juice was good (although expensive, $5 a cup); I will only get it with lime alone, or ginger alone and without salt next time.
I was really hungry that day, and bought thali with the parantha option.
The thali was not good, mostly because their rice was dry and crumbly, tasted like left over rice.
Parantha on the other hand was excellent, I got mine with cauliflower stuffing; soft inside, dry outside with a thin layer of cauliflower paste.
I know that it had lots of grease judging by the grease seeping through the box, but it was light and delicious in the mouth.
When I talked to my friend afterwards, she mentioned I was a little silly to get Thali in a Chaat place.
I shall return for Chaat next time!